RANAU: Though exhausted after trekking up and down Mount Kinabalu for about six hours, porters Erik Minsin and Imin Lusin were all smiles when they were presented with the #AnakAnakMalaysia wristbands upon reaching Timpohon gate at the base of the mountain.
“Memang kami anak Malaysia,” said Erik after receiving the wristband from staff members of EcoWorld Development Group Bhd yesterday in conjunction with the month-long Merdeka campaign.
He added he was proud to be a Malaysian in Sabah due to the peace and harmony he enjoyed from living in a multi-racial country.
“In fact I think it is a beautiful thing that we are all able to live as one harmoniously,” said Erik, 26, of Kampung Taginambur in Kota Belud district.
His fellow porter Imin hoped the campaign would be carried out annually so that the sense of patriotism among the people would continue to be strong.
“We need to remind ourselves and our youths why it is important to love and appreciate living in this country, because of the peace and freedom we have in many aspects such as religion and education, and job opportunities,” he said.
Erik and Imin later joined a dozen or so mountain guides and climbers in loudly proclaiming “Kami anak-anak Malaysia” just in front of the Timpohon gate.
Kinabalu Mountain Guide association president Richard Soibi who was also presented with an #AnakAnakMalaysia wristband said he felt proud each time he escorted foreign visitors up the mountain.
“Imagine people travelling thousands of kilometres to come to Malaysia just to climb this mountain.
“We have something special in this country – its not just the mountain but the people of different races and faiths who live in harmony. This must never be taken for granted,” he said.
Richard said he would proudly display the #AnakAnakMalaysia wristband to his guests to let them know that he, like other Malaysians, are proud of their country.
Students Kasmin Suriono, 19, and Khairul Joki, 21, were also greeted upon the arrival at the base of the mountain with the wristbands.
“I love Malaysia,” Kasmin said while donning the wristband and admiring it.
Khairul on the other hand said it was important that youths are reminded of the importance of unity in a diverse nation like Malaysia.
“We must be taught to appreciate what we have and equip ourselves with knowledge so that we can help make Malaysia a better country,” he said.
Meanwhile, EcoWorld Senior Executive Yee Yann Lee said the distribution of the #AnakAnakMalaysia wristbands at Kinabalu Park was a unique initiative.
“We are handing the wristbands here at the park to show that the Kami Anak-Anak Malaysia message is being brought to all corners of the country,” she said.
The #AnakAnakMalaysia campaign is organised by EcoWorld and Star Media Group in conjunction with the Merdeka month leading up to Malaysia Day on Sept 16.
Malaysians can participate by taking a photo or video of themselves wearing the wristband and posting them on www.anakanakmalaysia.com.
The wristbands are available at any EcoWorld show gallery and Star Media Group offices nationwide.